Remittances from overseas Filipino workers grew in the third straight month, providing the economy foreign funds amid the economic slump brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said cash remittances rose 0.3 percent in November to $2.379 billion from $2.372 billion in the same month last year. The increase followed the 9.3-percent rise in September and 2.9-percent growth in October.
The figure brought total cash remittances in the first 11 months to $27.013 billion, down 0.9 percent in the same period in 2019. The actual contraction was smaller than the projected 5-percent to 20-percent decline made by analysts at the start of the pandemic in March and April.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in an online briefing the cumulative data showed it was “a big departure from analysts’ earlier estimate that remittances will go down by at least 20 percent in 2020. This is a good news,” he said.
Cash remittances from land-based workers increased 0.5 percent in November to $1.852 billion from a year earlier, while those of sea-based workers declined 0.2 percent to $527.3 million.
Remittances in the first 11 months from Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and Kuwait declined, while those from the United States, Singapore, Qatar, Oman, Hong Kong and Taiwan increased.
The US posted the highest share of the total remittances at 40.1 percent, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the UK, the UAE, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar and Korea.
Personal remittances, which include non-cash items, grew slightly by 0.1 percent year-on-year to $2.643 billion in November from $2.639 billion a year earlier. The moderate growth was attributed to the 0.5-percent increase in remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more to $2.01 billion from $2.001 billion recorded in November 2019.
Meanwhile, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year fell slightly by 0.3 percent to $575 million in November 2020 from $577 million a year ago.
Personal remittances reached $29.988 billion in the 11-month period, down by 0,9 percent from $30.252 billion in 2019.
Cash remittances rose 4.1 percent to reach an all-time high in 2019.